tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC August 28, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PDT
coast. what you are seeing there is the top of the rock here in midtown, new york city. not much to see. because hurricane irene has engulfed the city of new york with its winds and rains. making it difficult to get around. there have been lashing rains in places, including there in times square. new york, the city that never sleeps, very much asleep. most people not adventuring out into the rains, a few brave cab drivers, that's about it. good morning, everyone, i'm alex witt at msnbc world headquarters. we have hurricane irene making landfall along the jersey shore where it crashed ashore near the little egg inlet. at least ten deaths are blamed on irene, four million remain without power this morning. let's look at new video we're getting in from wnbc, there have been a partial roof collapse at an apartment complex in long branch, new jersey. the only good news, no reported injuries thus far. though fire crews in the area have responded to a few fires in
the area overnight. fortunately they were able to put them out. let's update the latest watches and warnings from nbc meteorologist jeff ranieri. what do you think people should be on the lookout for as the storm moves north? is it winds, is it rains, is it flooding or all three? a trifecta? >> it is all three, but it depends where you are. if you're in new england, massachusetts, connecticut or interior sections of new york, it is all about the rain. no doubt about that. but for new jersey and long island, we're talking about the wind and the storm surge. if you decided to stay along the coastline it's been reported four to six feet of storm surge. and as we get into the high tide coming at about 8:00 for most of long island and new jersey that's when things could definitely get a little bit worse. but we do have a little bit of some good news at least on the storm front. when you look at it from a meteorological perspective, you can see on the bottom edge, there's not much in the way of
cloud top development. we look for the brighter colors, you can see at the top of the storm to show us where thunderstorm development may be. and we're seeing it really starting to weaken on the southern end so that is a shred of good news at this point. we're are expecting our next intermediate update coming up here at 8:00. so about an hour from now. now, hurricane-force wind gusts are occurring right now along the new jersey shoreline as we're seeing here. also, still for parts of maryland and delaware along the coast, there is our computer picking up possibly some hurricane-force wind guststh and look at the tropical storm-force wind bands, that's the area in orange there. that's already up there into connecticut and also southern massachusetts. now, we also want to let you know if you're up into new england, the watches and warnings have not changed as of the latest intermediate update if you're just joining us now, we're still under hurricane warning which does include the cape. let's get you to the radar right now. we want to do a little bit of
tracking. we still have the tornado watch in effect for long island. also into central connecticut, rhode island and portions of massachusetts throughout the morning. we did have a tornado warning in brooklyn. that expired. no damage and no injuries that we have heard of that have been reported. some heavier rainfall still continuing across long island. we saw peter alexander, amy robach in lower manhattan and natalie morales in hoboken. the rain bands are going to continue to impact them with winds gusting on and off again. it's all about the interior northeast right now. getting pummeled with the rain. that is already totalled over seven to ten inches in some cases with the storm system for the northeast. let's move on to the winds, 20 to 45 miles per hour here in new york city. and down to atlantic city, 31-mile-per-hour wind gusts. still gusting to 41 miles per hour in baltimore, we've been focusing on the extreme northeast. but the mid-atlantic, still reeling from the storm system that's kind of getting the left side of the storm. >> yeah.
okay. jeff ranieri, thank you for the update. i know you're not going far. let's go to nbc's kerry sanders, in atlantic beach, north carolina, you were there all day yesterday, you rode it out. though part of the pier behind you, that didn't make it. >> indeed, it did not make it. that was from the pounding surf. we had waves rolling in here consistently eight to ten feet. but some rogue waves that came in close to 17 feet that slammed the pier. the unfortunate thing is that the u.s. geological survey had monitoring equipment at the end of the pier to try to measure the force of the waves and that exact data will never be available now. because when the pier went away, so, too, did their equipment. suffice to say, we do know that it was a very angry, powerful sea and there's still a fair amount of wave action this morning. today is assessment day in north carolina. governor bev purdue is traveling to various parts of the state along the coast to see how things fare. already early assessments are
that the communities seem to have done pretty well. the damage is much less than certainly was anticipated. but nonetheless, there have also been some deaths associated with this. hurricane irene is responsible for the deaths directly of two people in north carolina. hurricane irene made first landfall just south of the outer banks on north carolina's coast. winds in excess of 100 miles per hour ripped apart unsecured siding. tilted electrical poles and church steeples, downed trees. and unconfirmed tornado is believed to have touched down in bellhaven. damaging waterfront businesses. while the storm surge flooded roadways, waves, eight to ten feet with the occasional 17-footer hammered the atlantic beach pier. this is what the pier looked like before irene and now after. the final section is gone, washed out to sea in the early-morning hours. north carolina state officials say early indications are damage
is minimal. duncan reeves who rode the storm out with his 80-year-old parents said he's thankful, irene, which had been a category 3 hurricane, showed mercy when she made landfall here as barely a category 1. >> i just kind of battened down the hatches and took everything, put everything away that can blow around. >> irene came ashore in the early-morning hours, the eye of the storm passing directly over atlantic beach. the winds that are buffeting are tropical-force winds. 7:42 in the morning and irene has a less-defined eye than most hurricanes. but right now, even though you can't see a blue sky, this is it, we're in the eye. this is the back end of the hurricane coming through here. these are the hurricane-force winds. and it's brutal. i got to tell you, the sand is like a sand blaster. i can barely turn that direction. is along the north carolina coast, more than 200,000 homes are still without power. toor those who evacuated inland,
emergency managers say there will be at least one more night away from home. before the all-clear signal. >> whether this was a 5 or a 1, this state and our people have sustained some really significant damage. i don't know what the cost will be. but i think the cost is going to be significant. >> and so, the governor as i said, will go to the various communities to assess the damage. i'm feeling pretty good, the sun is up, that's a good sign for people to the north. i've got most of the sand out of my ears and out of my hair and so the good news for folks to the north here is, if you hunker down and you take your time and take your precautions and you're in the middle of it right now, you'll get through this on the back end. and natalie is in hoboken, natalie, hopefully you're going to see a little bit less than they saw here. but nonetheless, it could be a very, very painful day for a lot of folks today. >> well that's right, kerry.
and i'm glad we saw in the piece that you did, you saw what the outer edge of the storm could do. we have yet to really experience the symptom hit at its fullest. because it hasn't made landfall, we're about an hour away from that happening. not only is it making landfall about an hour away, and also at a time when it's high tide. and the real question is what the river does. it's not just the ocean that we're concerned about, this is the point along the hudson river where the hudson then emerges into the, in with the ocean. so the question is what the river will do. this is hoboken is a low-lying city, it has about 40,000, 50,000 residents. not everyone was told to evacuate. only people who live along ground-floor apartments, there are lot of residential areas here behind me. so they took shelter at a nearby elementary school. but then that elementary school was evacuated. because they were concerned about the floodwaters on the west end of town. which is really the most low-lying point of the town.
there has already been a casualty here in terms of trees falling. that's a good thing, it seems that it hasn't been all that bad just yet. but we haven't seen the full impact of the storm. but there is a tree off in the distance, you can see it's been completely uprooted in one of our local parks. now as we're still waiting to see what exactly the storm brings. it's been really at this point, i think all of us feel like it's not as bad as we expected. but yet we have yet to see what can really happen here in the next hour, alex. >> that's going to be the big key. but i think, i think we're not going to get the back half lashing that they saw so predominantly there on the north carolina and virginia coast. so let's hope that's the case and the back half we keep talking about doesn't keep coming. you know and make it any worse than it is. okay, natalie morales standing by in hoboken, new jersey, covering things. one person has died in maryland
as a result of hurricane irene. a woman in queen anne's county was killed after a tree fell on her house, causing her chimney to collapse. state police say a tornado touched down in the lower eastern shore. maryland's emergency management agency says 780,000 homes and businesses are without power. let's go to nbc's tom costello in ocean city, maryland where things are brighter today. you certainly weathered something horrific yesterday. >> well just when you thought you could take off the rain gear, here comes another band of rain, i'm getting awfully wet here. but we're told that this is really just the last band or the last finger, if you will of rain from the back end of irene as it is way up that way. in your back yard. we are doing a quick assessment here in ocean city. and the delmarva peninsula, and police are saying so far they don't see any significant damage. we do have power out to certain areas along the peninsula. we are still without power.
but we're hoping that that comes back up. they're bringing the sewer system back up ever so slowly. they had taken it offline as a precaution last night. they're saying about 12 inches of rain, they believe. they also say that four to six-foot storm surge here. top winds here at least in ocean city, about 60 miles per hour on sustained gusts, sorry, 60 miles per hour on sustained winds, 80 miles per hour on the gusts. and it really started coming in hard between the hours of i would say about 11:00 p.m., and 2:00 a.m. and suddenly, 3:30 in the morning, it suddenly seemed to die away. and as you can see behind me, the ocean is still rough out there, but nothing like the kind of violent churning action that we had yesterday out here. no reports of any injuries according to the police, everybody heeded the warning, got off the island. and the few who stayed hunkered down and apparently weathered it pretty well. and that's what we're hoping to do. we're hoping for electricity and
warm water so we can take a shower and then get dried off. back to you. >> you know, tom, what strikes to me as so significant, you say there's just a bit of rain coming your way again. look how far away you are from new york city. where we have yet to feel the full brunt of irene. i mean this storm is huge. and it seems like the rain is relentless, that's part of the problem. >> yeah. and if you recall, yesterday, when we were doing our live reports throughout the day on msnbc and the weather channel, the rain started here, where we are, on the very southern tip of the eastern maryland shore, somewhere in the neighborhood of about 11:00 in the morning, maybe 10:00 a.m. and it was just relentless all day. and until probably like i said, 3:30 in the morning and now we've just got a little bit of spitting action at us. but it is a very slow-moving storm. so as it now parks itself over new york and new england, it's going to be a long 24 hours of just sustained heavy rain.
>> how about folks that tried to ride that out in ocean city? did you have many people that were defying evacuation orders? and anybody looking back thinking, oh, god, i shouldn't have done that? >> you know, honestly, it's been a ghost town. we've seen no one here. now the police tell us that three people in the greater area, decided to weather it and stay the course. but we haven't seen them. i mean it has been absolutely empty here. one tow truck driver drove by last night looking at the damage. i wonder why he was on the streets, because the police were not on the streets, they had been ordered off. i think he was kind of curious. we've seen absolutely no one. people really heeded the warning. >> tom costello, giving us the latest from ocean city, maryland. many thanks. let's go to nbc meteorologist, jeff ranieri. i'm shocked that tom is still feeling the rain bands. i mean, i can't believe how big this storm is.
just its width, its breadth. >> it does stretch quite a bit. at its, i think peak, when it was spinning out so far, it was over 700 miles in its overall width. what we're seeing now is the bottom edge as we talked about, alex, how they're getting the second lashing yesterday. there's a lot of dry air that filtered into the bottom edge of the storm. so it looks like some of the heaviest rainfall that you would typically see on the back edge, we may be spared interest that. which could help places like new york city, which definitely prepared for the worst and hoping obviously for the best at this point. we have hurricane warnings up into the cape. i want to get up into the radar and we still have a tornado watch over connecticut. also portions of long island at this point. no taurnornado warnings at the current moment. wind speeds, gusting from 30 to 60 miles per hour. new york city we have 40-mile-per-hour wind gusts on block island. and in philadelphia, gusting in
the 30s. so for new york city, what to expect. from that eight to 10:00 a.m. period, it looks like that's when we'll start to see the center of the storm moving over. yes, the winds will increase. but there's not a lot of rain back behind that. so it's going to be interesting here over the next couple of hours. >> you know, the post right there, storm peak, 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. we've got proof of that right now. jeff ranieri. we're going to go to peter alexander who is barely standing there on coney island for us. and you said you're feeling the worst of it right now, peter. and it's supposed to be the bad part right now. >> the worst so far. >> and it's the worst supposedly between now and about 11:00 a.m. you can ride it out for four hours? >> ah, i guess we're probably going to have to. not a lot of choice right now, alex. we're swallowing sand. we're standing on the coney island boardwalk right now. and the amusement park is just over here on this side of me. this is an area -- wow. that is just so stinging and
uncomfortable. this is an area that normally gets 450,000 tourists each season. a sunday just shy of labor day would be packed with people. but when have you ever seen the coney island boardwalk look like this? it is a three-mile stretch and it is deserted. i can't flip the camera around because it's in a protected position, but my view looking that direction, it looks like it's the sahara desert, if it were in a storm. sand blowing straight at our faces right now. we've been speaking -- we've been speaking of police throughout this morning. we had a chance earlier to drive through some of the coney island this is what's in what's known as zone a, one of the mandatory evacuation areas in new york city. more than 100,000 people live here, the borough of brooklyn is the largest, most populace borough in new york city. more than 2.5 million people live here. and we're getting hit by this stuff pretty strong. i'm going to bring the camera this way. we'll show you what the waves look like. as we've been discussing today,
it's sort of hitting us in a t, so we formed this barrier island from east to west and the water is coming straight from the south to the north, directly at us. the winds, though, are what makes it so unpleasant. the water is what will likely make this a disaster that people are going to remember for a long time. there's been so much pooling water and the tidal surge is expected to continue or really to pick up to its peak. i believe in the next 45 minutes to an hour or so, alex. and that's what we've been watching very closely. >> is this in the zone a area, peter? because it's so desolate. have people, were they ordered out of this area by mayor michael bloomberg? >> yeah. this is one of the zone a areas, about 370,000 new yorkers in total who were forced to leave their homes, 10 6,000 of them live here in coney island. it wasn't just the residents who had to evacuate. but a first of its kind evacuation from coney island hospital. for more than a century has zaered out at the atlantic. and over the last several days -- stared out at the
atlantic this . they had to find a place to put the patients, 15 newborns, and two children. so they're really been forced to do something they never wanted to do. and it's a circumstance that they have to. the last major storm that hit this area was hurricane gloria, that was back in 1985. but really, we very rarely see something like this. six times since 18 51. >> that's pretty extraordinary. peter, can you look around safely and see who that guy is that's also been in your shot? first time i've seen another person out on the boardwalk. >> yeah, you know, i just introduced myself to him about ten minutes ago, he's a photographer with the "associated press" trying to do exactly what we're trying to do for msnbc, which is just document the potential for destruction. if you can see behind me, we pan the camera down that direction, you can see one of the police cars, they've been patrolling this three-mile stretch back and forth.
and we've, we've described it this way before. i think it bears repeating. i know a lot of men around the country and their wives, often the wives tell the husband to do this. they say spray, power-wash the deck? well if you're in charge of the boardwalk here, you don't have to worry about it, it's getting done naturally today. >> peter alexander, give a wave to the cops, let them know you're okay. off close by to long beach, where nbc's al roker is standing by. when we spoke, you talked about high tide hitting right about now. are we at the apex? >> yes. well, i think just about, it's between 7:15 and 7:30. and -- wow. >> you guys, we have al, for all he no, i think al can't even breathe and speak because of these high winds, listen to the winds, everyone, coming through on his microphone. al, when you can talk, that's cool. but until then, let me --
>> you have to switch me over. >> maybe he's having some audio switch problems, but the winds are ferocious, clearly. al, can you hear me? it's alex. >> all right. it looks like we may have lost al roker. you can see what al is dealing with he's dealing with tremendous winds and high tide is supposed to be right around now. he was telling us any time between now and 7:30, another ten minutes from now. that's the most crucial time when it comes to the flooding. as you take a look at these figures on top of the concession stands there on coney island's boardwalk, they are shaking. because of the ferocity of the winds. and they have these metal steel bars that are holding them down. you can bet that they've withstood a lot ever things in their time. but this is the one time the hurricane irene, which looks to potentially compromise the safety and security of these and the buffeting of the flags, they're being shredded, torn to
bits, as a result of this cat 1 hurricane. it's extraordinary what's going on right now in new york city and adjacent to long island with al roker. let's look at where i reason is headed with the weather channel's bryan norcross. >> you can see the center of the hurricane, that's it on the jersey shore, just about to come up to long island and it looks like it's going to go right over new york city for the first wave. the rain is going to quit once it goes by. the wind is going to continue for a good part of the day. but the rain is going to quit. now our friends in new england, and all the way around, back into pennsylvania, are going to have major flooding problems and it's going to continue. but in jersey, it's ending being, the rain is ending from south to north. some rain still continuing down into the d.c. area. and so these are all, all this with this rain, it's not just
rain, it's winds of 40 to 50 and occasionally 60-plus miles per hour. which is going to knock down trees and take out power and i expect we're going to see probably millions more lose power before this is all over with. but in new york, the worst of it is coming through here. any minute and you're seeing it there with al and your other people right at the coast. >> bryan, a question, with regard to a hurricane making its way through new york city. how concerned are you about glass breakage and the problems with all of the high-rises? because when you've got these winds, the further up you go, we got a lot of up in this city. does that concern you? >> yeah. there's a threat there. and really, what it is, it's not so much the windows being pushed out. it's more debris off of this building goes and hits that building. so i mean the advice for people is first of all to stay off the street. if something flies off a building, it doesn't come down and hit you. second of all, if you're in a high-rise, when the worst of this goes by, you don't stand
and stare out the window and use some common sense and let that go by. and then you know, everybody is going to be fine. you might have some damage on some of the high-rises from debris. but what we're seeing here now, and the way the windfield has spread out for 100 miles or hundreds of miles in all directions, it doesn't have this concentrated center like hurricanes in the tropics do. really, you have to think of the energy of this thing being spread out for two to 300 miles. out of the center. it's just not the same kind of thing. but still, there is that risk. i wouldn't call it a big threat. i would call it a risk. >> bryan norcross, you have been doing this for a long tile. you were the guy who predicted that 1992 hurricane andrew would come and be a monster, it was. for people who are going to look at irene and see it begin to soften somewhat. how do you avoid complacency in the future? for people who say, it didn't get do me so bad if you're in connecticut, potentially boston?
the challenge is that the next time that a hurricane is coming, people respond to it. the fact is that the modern science did a lot of things very well, it predicted you know, way back, how many days ago that a hurricane was going to come right over new york city. modern science does not have the ability to know exactly what shape the hurricane is going to be in. i don't want to minimize this thing. because for millions of people, this is going to be very bad. this is going to be some of the worst flooding ever experienced in the certainly in the top three, if not the top two, in pennsylvania, and new jersey and other areas. so you know, i don't want to minimize it just because it may not have the effect on the high-rises in new york city that we talked about being possible. and i still think we're going to have some coastal damage,
whether it's destruction or not, it may not happen. but we'll still have coastal damage. >> is there anything going to anormal form when it comes to hurricane irene. my experience is that once it hits land, things tend to dissipate and it moves downward. >> it will go down a little bit. but not a whole lot. as it comes up north here, it's going to stay as a very strong storm all the way into canada. because it has jet stream support. it actually, the atmosphere is very favorable. and here you see these very strong bands, very, very strong bands that were producing tornadoes earlier. now moving up into connecticut. >> bryan norcross, many thanks as always. let's move to nbc's michelle franzen standing by in eatontown, new jersey. you've got the rain coming down, but sunrise affords an
opportunity to see what's happening. >> you can start to see a little bit. it's amazing the constant rain and wind that we've had all throughout the night. and this is going to continue. and it is that rain, it's more so than the winds, we're getting the gusts that are coming. that do come with the hurricane. but it is the just constant rainfall that is going to be new jersey's big nemesis today. dealing with. and we heard from governor chris christie a short time ago on the "today show," giving an update. they're just, with the sunlight just about to come up or the light, trying to get an assessment early on. he said that they are also dealing with a few people starting to venture out because they can start to see some of the damage. and he's warning people to stay inside. and that's because we're still in, getting the brunt of irene at this time. and that's because a few people are trapped in their cars, they're going out, trying to assess the damage. he said it's going to be record inland flooding, that's what
they're preparing for now, dealing with the surge at the shore. and that's coming in, too. we've had high tied that's going to be coming in very soon and we've also have reports where we were at yesterday, asbury park and the boardwalk there, that the water was cresting there, moving inland. that area was expected to flood. we're seeing that. and hearing that that is what is occurring there. inland flooding and the river flooding, that's going to be throughout the day. so again, he's, governor christie as well as emergency crews and officials are telling people, do not venture outside at this time. irene is not over. and the effects are not over. and wind damage, the trees, this area is all saturated throughout new jersey. so and again, more than 1 million people evacuated from the shoreline areas. and moved inland. we've got estimates that are about 15,000 people staying in shelters throughout new jersey at this time. alex? >> we can hear the rain coming down. really quickly, just give a look
around, michelle and see about any downed tree limbs, because that's had fatal consequences elsewhere on the eastern seaboard. do you see much in your area? >> no, we don't and we've really chosen a pretty good location to protect ourselves, you know, we had to move away from the area that was supposed to be getting flooding, for protection. so we are in a bit of a protected area. even from the winds, and you can just see how powerful irene still is. so get outside of here and we are going to probably be seeing some downed limbs and trees as the day continues. >> and flooding, what is that behind you? is that a parking lot, any concerns about flooding? i know we've seen some video of cars completely submerged. some of them with their lights on. and it's a very eerie scene. but no chance of flooding right there? >> no, i don't thinks so. and that's because in choosing the location, we also chose one of t